The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)
Joined on May 25, 2008
Last Post on October 6, 2013
@ December 17, 2012 9:09 PM in Need Install manual for HBSmith 18-10 steamNeed to price a repipe and downfiring of one of these. 989,000 input boiler in a 6 flat....a big six flat, but not that big. Can't find anything on them at this time.
@ December 17, 2012 9:07 PM in Wayne vs. Riello or maybe Midco?I have been very unimpressed with them. Others will agree, I believe. have had good luck with midco. Carlin EZ gas is a favorite for many in the intrepid and others.
@ December 11, 2012 6:41 PM in New Boiler at the Best Mansionat least the chimney is getting a steam cleaning!
@ December 10, 2012 5:59 PM in One-Pipe Steam-TRV or Better boiler controls?about a different opinion. Different opinions is how we all can come up with something better than what was in the past. Too bad so many in Washington haven't figured this out!
@ December 10, 2012 10:28 AM in One-Pipe Steam-TRV or Better boiler controls?If the whole building is overheating, then the existing control just needs to be adjusted down. If that doesn't work then a new control is in order.
However, not putting in TRV's will still keep the building 30 years behind the worldwide comfrot and efficiency curve. TRV's in every room in every structure has been required for a long, long time in most countries. Properly installed and properly designed TRV's will cut the fuel usage and increase comfort. Just think about it this way, lots of people have separate temperature controls for each side of thier car....then why shouldn't we have separate temperature controls for each room in our homes?
@ November 27, 2012 7:00 PM in To convert or NotFirst off, the overall savings between a properly running steam system and a hot water system are not that great,if at all. Simple gas fired steam requires virtually no electricity to operate. High efficiency hot water can require upwards 500 to 700 watts. Also, most one pipe steam radiators cannot be converted to hot water....so the whole idea is proabably false. Water systems also can freeze up, so if you have any drafty areas where you have no problems now, you may have them with a water system, especially during power failures or pump failures. Steam boilers use nearly universal replacment parts.....High efficiency hot water boilers are nearly completely proprietary. Your steam boiler lasted 25 years (it should last longer than that, more like 30 years or more), high efficiency hot water boilers typically have a much shorter design life.
Right now you have a potentially very efficient and very simple heating system. You will be converting to a very efficient , but very complicated heating system.
Get a good steam specialest that can properly size and pipe the boiler and take care of any system deficiecies you may have. This is the recommendation by the
@ November 21, 2012 8:37 AM in Zone valves on steamLGB's come from the factory with a two stage gas valve. I would first just run the boiler on low fire all the time for a few weeks to see how it performs. If you are having problems, connect high fire and and use vaporstat to control high fire.
@ November 21, 2012 8:26 AM in Suggestions on reducing heatwould be number one. Next up would be a thermostatic radiator valve to shut off teh heat when not needed.
@ October 28, 2012 7:52 PM in Keeping Steam System Completely Off in Chicago WinterMaintaining the Structure at 45F. Keeping a free standing structure at 45F verus the typical 70F will reduce fuel usage by about 2/3 in Chicago. Also,if it is protected on one or both sides by other structures, the heat will run even less because the adjacent structures will keep it warm (the neighbors heating bills will probably go up). The main problem with plaster is the moisture freezing in the plaster and causing it to separate. I have been in many structures that were heated in some areas and not others, and the plaster in the unheated areas suffers.
I have a number of clients within one block of that address( on Fullerton, Belden and Cleveland) While new owners may make changes, many of the most sought after condos in that area are restrored, not gutted. With the very high property values there, I would expect it would be worth the couple hundred dollars to keep the structure at 45, versus shutting it off. Typically some simple and rather inexensive upgrades can be made to the steam and gas system to cut operating costs considerably, even while retaining the old boiler.
@ October 18, 2012 7:10 AM in Constantly replacing thermocouplethat's the most common problem. If you have a multimeter with millivolts, you can check output between the end of the thermocouple and the outside of the wire when holding pilot valve down for a couple of minutes. The output should be about 27 to 30 MV. Also, the tip should be a dull red, not bright red after being heated by the pilot. Almost all pilots need to be adjusted down at installation because the factory typically leaves them full open at the factory.
@ October 18, 2012 7:04 AM in Recent Install PicsI would suggest using unions after the auto feed and the manual feed valves to help in diagnosing a leaking valve. Also, a 3 inch header is probably not much more cost than a 2 1/2. Of course, if a GSA 125 is only 125,000 input than a 2 1/2 inch header is probably already one size larger than minimum, which is plenty. Oversized headers really make the installation perform exceptionally well. That Williamson looks like a rebranded Weil McLain.
@ October 18, 2012 6:56 AM in I redid the near boiler pipingMuch better and the new header actually is a header that meet manufacturer's specs. Also for safeties sake, run the relief valve drain down to about 4 inches off the floor to help protect from scalding.
@ October 9, 2012 9:47 PM in Peerless G-561-W-S Repipeheat, PB Blaster. and then,if it fits, hammer in a nipple one diameter smaller than the pipe you are trying to remove. This strengthens the walls of the nipple so it won't crush when you pu the wrench on it. Threading on a fitting on the end of the nipple also helps some.
@ October 9, 2012 9:42 PM in molineThe original Moline valves are orificed to limit the amount of steam that enters the radiator at 8 ounces of pressure to about 80% of the condensing capcity of the radiator. Since all the steam is condensed in the radiator, no trap is needed. Just keep the pressure below 8 ounces and you'll no problems and incredibly low fule bills and exceptionally even heating.
@ October 9, 2012 6:17 PM in Boiler Does Not (Always) Come ona plugged up pressuretrol or a plugged up water feeder could be the culprit
@ October 9, 2012 4:39 PM in Peerless replacement?Planning ahead is a good idea and will also let you get the most out of the existing system/ boiler. If your boilers follow the typical pattern they are nearly 80% oversized and probably not piped correctly, both of which run up fuel usage and can damage the boiler. Peerless 211's do seem to hold up quite well, however. That 1.5 mill boiler is typicaly the right size for those huge 3 story courtyard buildings here in Chicago.
@ October 9, 2012 4:33 PM in Any steam guys in Milwaukee?and I serve Chicago metro. Milwaukee would be about 2.25 hours one way from me. It sure does sound like you have a hole in that boiler, though, and it will need replacement.
@ October 7, 2012 10:01 PM in 45's vs 90's on Header designFor a standard non-counterflow steam system, 90's off the header to the mains would be best. They move the low pressure, high velocity point where the steam is rapidly going into the system further up and away from the water on the bottom of the header, so it won't tend to get drawn up into the mains. 45's are best when water is draining back down into the main from one pipe steam radiators. The water can hug the bottom of the pipe and not rain down on the steam from above if the take off was at 90 degrees up. There should be no water draining back off the main into the header.
@ October 5, 2012 10:10 PM in Replace Steam BoilerIf your American standard is a gas unit from the 60's or later, they test out in the upper 70's for efficiency. Hot air furnaces ran in the 60's in the old days, most boilers were at least 72% or higher.
BTW, I have installed 400,000 btu of capacity to heat about 10,000 sq ft of 1930's poorly insulated steam heated home. That's alot of heat.
@ October 2, 2012 9:17 PM in Badly corroded drain pipe off steam boilerbut I do agree that working with pipes that close to the boiler can be iffy. I have had some just turn right out of 60 year old boilers with no problem. If is does break off, hopefully the old piece will come out of the boiler and the threads are still good. Otherwise, the plot thickens. Repairing a 25 year old EGH probably doesn't make much sense so it would be new boiler time, which, in most cases, ultimately will be of great benefit to you because nearly all boiler are over sized and incorrectly piped, greatly decreasing the efficiency. A new section could be installed, however, if necessary.
@ October 2, 2012 9:03 AM in Advise on my header before hooking up to the mainsThat would be the best header on a steam boiler in all of Chicago, from what I've seen! BTW those dimensions you were wondering about....a miniumum of twice the header diameter between each takeoff and between the last take off and the drip and 3 times the diameter between the last boiler riser connection and the first supply take off. However, as Steamhead said, keeping the take offs full size will help prevent water on the bottom of the header from lifting into the takeoffs.
@ September 28, 2012 11:06 PM in Here We Go Againas a back up and/or for heavy loads and baseload with a little modcon.